For many years women in the football industry have been voicing their concerns about the mistreatment and the inequality that they face, on and off the pitch.
We have seen a handful of women in leadership positions in football and it is rather delightful to see that there are strides taken in transforming football making it more inclusive and receptive to women.
Changing the game and the narrative about something only takes one person, and the CEO of Amazulu Football Club, Sinenjabulo Zungu has been on a big mission to do that as she continues to inspire more women to get into the sports industry.
In an out-of-office interview, rushing to her next appointment, Nounouche caught up with businesswoman who said if she would explain what her day was like she would have to compare it to a painting painted by a three-year-old.
It has been three years since Sinenjabulo took on the hot seat of being the CEO of the club and speaking on her journey so far she said although being in the football industry wasn’t in her plans she doesn’t regret moving into the position as it has been absolutely incredible.
As the CEO of Amazulu Football Club, she is responsible for securing and management of sponsorships and partnerships, stakeholder relations, marketing, and commercialisation of the business.
When thinking about the football industry the term ‘male-dominated industry’ quickly comes to mind for most people, but for Sinenjabulo being in such an industry, it was something that is not new to her as almost all the career paths she has followed are highly saturated by men.
“I worked with men in almost all my roles and I ended leading them so stepping into my role was not a hard transition, but this particular role was a bit unique in that there is not a lot of women involvement, as you can count women that are involved at club level in South Africa,” she said.
Sinenjabulo’s family has many business interests that she could have had her hand in considering her expertise as she has a Business Science degree and an MBA, however for her football is interesting and it is not like any other business that they have.
“I got drawn to being part of the club because I realized what I could do with it and the change I would bring strategically especially from the marketing perspective as it requires a lot of marketing, as we needed not to position ourselves locally but across the continent too,” she revealed.
Mixing business and pleasure is never a good idea, but Sinejabulo who is the daughter of Sandile Zungu says running the family business had made her bond with her dad strong.
“This is because it creates a space where you are able to engage in other things outside of family matters,” she said.
In the near future, Sinenjabulo is going to launch a women’s football club Amazulu and she shared that the decision was taken because they feel like there is not enough support and development when it comes to women’s football in South Africa.
“If we position ourselves as a club that is evolving and progressive I feel like it is imperative that we get involved in the women’s football and be a part of that change, in the next season or two,” she said.
She further added as a club they are about changing the game and they are going to make a difference with their women’s division and show the rest how it is done.
“But those who are interested in being part of the team should be aware that we will be scouting for women who have a great passion for football, but importantly people who love the brand Amazulu, especially for the women’s division because it is going to be something new for us, and because we want to build something solid, we need to have people internally that represent the club well,” she said.